The CTTE started out as an experiment in December 2002. It was conceived by a group of monetary activists in Cape Town, South Africa, who were interested in experimenting with non-monetary modes of exchange. Since that time it has grown steadily and is now one of the largest alternative exchange communities in the world.
In the beginning there were only a few traders, who came from all parts of Cape Town. This made the area covered by CTTE too large. To create a greater sense of community the area was split up into a number of sub areas. These generally do not map to the suburbs of Cape Town but comprise of distinct geographical areas, such as City Centre, Atlantic Seaboard, Southern Suburbs, Northern Suburbs, South Peninsula and Hout Bay.
Today CTTE has 6905 members, and growing all the time. There is a tendency for growth to be counter-cyclical with the mainstream economy. When the latter experiences growth then growth in the ‘CES economy’ tends to slow; when the regular economy experiences recession then the ‘CES economy’ experiences rapid growth.
In the light of predictions that the regular economy is headed for another recessionary period, now is the time to join CTTE and get used to trading without money!